The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Correspondence of the Oregon Superintendency
News articles and Southern Oregon-related correspondence with the Oregon Superintendency for Indian Affairs.

Click here for Superintendency correspondence 1844-1900.

Indians Dying with Whooping Cough.
    Word comes from Klamath Indian Reservation that all the Indians there have the whooping cough, and at last accounts there were six deaths among the papoose fraternity and it was feared death would take many more to the Happy Hunting Ground. The Indians have an agency physician, but in this case they have taken the advice of the "medicine man" of their tribe and the agency physician can't consult with the "medicine man" because he don't belong to his school of doctors. So the Indians are managing this epidemic in the regular Injun style of doctoring. Near a spring or river they build a tepee of willows, cover it with hides, build a fire, put the patient in and let him sweat, grunt and cant until the perspiration rolls off in rivulets and the Indian stinks like unto a Chinatown, then the patient jumps into the cold water of a river or spring to cool off. This medicine is good for some ailments and especially fine for folks that never take a bath. But in whooping cough it is as cultus as the Indian's idea of logic; with him incantation beats drugs. Several years ago an epidemic of smallpox broke out among these Indians and the same treatment was undergone, as siwash took to the opinion of the medicine man because it was nearest his soul and because he had no reason in his coconut head to comprehend the science of the white man's remedies.
Valley Record, Ashland, January 9, 1896, page 3

An Odd Letter.
    The Salem Journal recently published a letter from Thos. Joe Luxillo. a Indian who is supposed to be a centenarian.
    It is an oddity. Here are some of his sayings: I am now at Chemawa where Christ's name is studied, where his word is studied by teachers and all the children. This is just the same now under the Democratic administration as under the Republican. Democrats and Republicans are alike, Christians. It is just the same now as it was under the Republican administration. I am glad that the authorities at Washington asked us to give our children to these schools. I gave mine and now they have all gone to heaven. Many others of my people have done the same. When a man harnesses two horses and one of them does not pull well and the other does his part the best he can; the work does not succeed well. It is so with the Democrats and Republicans. Here both horses work well and the school is a success. You white men, successors of Lewis and Clark, are rich and wise. When a boy I saw many a white boy come here with his parents in their wagons, poor, hungry and ignorant. It is God's goodness that makes the white men rich.
Medford Mail, January 10, 1896, page 7

The Last of Old Fort Klamath.
Klamath Falls Republican.
    Marshall Petit, U.S. Indian agent, in July will sell all the buildings now standing at abandoned Fort Klamath, consisting of 1 bakery, 1 granary, 1 saddle room, 2 barracks, 3 dwelling houses, 1 hospital, 2 commissary buildings and 1 boarding house. They will be torn down by the purchasers and soon the last vestige of old Fort Klamath will have disappeared, and all that will remain to mark the place where Fort Klamath once stood will be the graves of the four Modoc warriors, Captain Jack, Schonchin, Boston Charlie and Black Jim, who paid the penalty of their crime on the scaffold in '73 for the massacre of the peace commission in the lava beds of that year.
Valley Record, Ashland, June 11, 1896, page 1

The New Agent at Klamath.
    Joseph Emery, the new Indian agent, arrived at Klamath Agency Saturday from Salinas, Cal. He departed Sunday for Yainax, where he will commence an inventory of government property. Mr. Emery is a man of the gospel and will not tolerate indolence among the Indians. They must attend church and they must cultivate their farms, an order of things which do not take well with a large number of them. It means that they must be good, moral men and make their own living, the Indian construction of which is "Hi-yu Jesus and halo muck-a-muck." [Literally "Much Jesus and no food."] But a change in the management of the reservation has been most desirable. It has come, and Mr. Emery will be found the right man in the right place.--Klamath Falls Republican.
Valley Record, Ashland, September 3, 1896, page 1

Last revised September 1, 2023